Mom to Arianna Naomi Foster
December 14th, 2010
Arianna had Turner Syndrome. Not full blown Turner Syndrome, but Mosaic Turner Syndrome (45x 47xxx). Doctors called it sporadic. Doctors said it’s rare. Called it an “error” in cell division. Happens in 1 out of 2500 births. That’s a .0004% chance of happening…and it happened to me. I am the statistic. I will never look at probability the same ever again.
I remember December 10th 2010 like it was yesterday. I was 20 weeks pregnant. I scheduled an early appointment because I just couldn’t wait to find out the sex of the baby. The tech called us back and asked us if we were finding out the sex of the baby. I said, “Yep” with not a care in the world. Because I just knew I didn’t have to worry about anything else because she was going to be perfect. They put the jelly like substance on my stomach and started the ultrasound, and I knew something wasn’t right. I didn’t see the flicker. The flicker that I saw when I was 9 weeks pregnant. I saw her bones, but they seem to just be floating. I didn’t say anything, but I knew.
After 20 minutes the tech tells me to empty my bladder cause it was to full. I went to the bathroom and came back. The tech wasn’t there. I sat back down and hugged Jon and told him, “I can’t lose another one. I just can’t.” He said, “He is in there baby.” He rubbed and kissed my stomach. And he started talking to my stomach. He asked our baby to stop scaring her mother.
But I knew… I told him something wasn’t right. I told him, “I know how this works. The tech left the room because she is getting the doctor. The doctor is looking at the sonogram right now and she is trying to figure out how to tell us something is wrong.” Five minutes later the doctor came in. She said, “You know something is wrong don’t you?” As tears filled my eyes, I shook my head yes. How did I know she asked. I said, “Because I just saw bones floating.” She said, “I am so sorry to say this but we couldn’t find a heartbeat.” I held onto Jon for dear life and cried in his arms. I already knew, but having the doctor say it made it a reality.
She continued and said, “We think she has a chromosomal abnormality. She had a large fluid filled sac around her neck, which causes us to believe that it is Turner Syndrome. Her body was also swollen. We would like to take a sample of her tissue to confirm." I told her no, and that I just wanted to get out of there. The doctor asked if we wanted a sonogram because the tech thought she saw a hand somewhere in there. I told her no. She said, “Let’s just go ahead and do it. I know you don’t want to be here anymore, but I want you to have something to remember her by.” I whispered ok. I am so thankful she insisted… I treasure the last sonogram that I have of her.
When I went home I was so mad at myself. I wondered how I didn’t know that my baby was dead. The day before a coworker told me that my stomach looked flat and asked if my baby was developing properly. After I asked why she would say something like that I brushed it off and said, “Well we will find out tomorrow at my appointment now wont we.” I replayed that conversation in my head all weekend. How come SHE knew something was wrong with my baby and I didn’t. I still replay that conversation in my head every single day.
My doctor called a few hours later to tell me how sorry she was and to discuss my options. She said that I could have and D and E or I could deliver her. Delivery would entail being induced and pushing her out and could be a two day process. I sighed and told her I don’t know what I want to do. I felt that I needed to punish myself by going through the deliver process because I didn’t know that my baby was dead. That may not make any sense to anyone else, but it made perfect sense to me. Then she said, “Yaneri, I probably shouldn’t be telling you this because I am supposed to be neutral, but it you were my sister, I would tell you to have the D and E.” I told her that I would have the D and E then. I am so happy that she said that because I probably would have chosen to deliver her. I was not in any position to make that decision.
When I woke up the next morning it was as if my stomach disappeared. My maternity clothes was now baggy. The shirt that I still had on from the day before was loose. Apparently my stomach was shrinking day by day and I didn’t know. I kept thinking, how come she knew and I didn’t....how come she knew and I didn’t…I am such a terrible mother. I didn’t even know that my baby was dead.
That Tuesday I walked into labor and delivery heartbroken. I went up to the nurse and told her that I was here for a D and E. She showed me to my room. I walked by and noticed the different colors on the door. Pink and Green. Because I work with loss patients and collaborate with a hospital in Baltimore I know that one color means delivery and one means loss. They do it so a nurse won’t accidentally walk in on a woman having a loss and tell her congrats. Mine was green. There was only one other door that had the green sign that day. Everyone was there to deliver a baby but me. I walked into the room and almost had a heart attack. There was a baby basket in the room. I cried as I thought that I was not supposed to be here for this reason. I was supposed to be here delivering Arianna and she was supposed to go in that basket! I was supposed to be complaining about how tough delivery was and smile as I looked over and see my daughter.
Before the procedure I requested that a priest come and pray with us and give me strength. He prayed and said when I delivered her he would say a prayer over her. After the procedure I don’t remember much. Before the procedure all I remember are tears, blood and filling out lots of paperwork.
When I was being wheeled out of the hospital by the nurse, my mom and Jon were trying to make small talk. But I was so numb. I thought that I shook my head when I answered their questions but apparently I didn’t. I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t move. All I could think about was that I was leaving the hospital without my baby. I looked at all the people smiling and happy and I was pissed. How could they all be happy, when my world just fell apart?
I am doing so much better now. It is still a struggle every single day just to be happy but I am trying. I can't and won’t let my grief take over me. Some days are better than others. Some days I am able to smile and laugh all day long and others, like a couple times this week, I cry silently at my desk at work.
One thing that stuck with me while in the hospital is the nurse telling me how this can affect a relationship. She said marriages have broken up because of this. So he needed to be there for me and I needed to be there for him and understand that he may grieve differently. I have already seen how much stronger our relationship has become because of Arianna. How supportive and strong my future husband is. I know that if we can make it through the death of our daughter we can make it through anything.
You can contact Yaneri at firstname.lastname@example.org